To be fair, it has been looking a lot like Christmas for a while. Well, the past three months to be exact, and we’re reaching peak festive frenzy here at McQ HQ right now with boxes of baubles, crate loads of glitter, and a mini mountain of decorative items ranging from gingerbread men (non-edible) to archangels, shining stars, and reindeer.
Christmas is a tough old job but someone has to do it and you’d be very surprised at the amount of work involved in decorating on a larger scale. It’s a world away from that rosy-cheeked tradition of dressing the tree at home over a mince pie and a glass of mulled wine (or five).
Project Christmas at McQueens is a wild and unwieldy beast that gets bigger and bigger with each passing year and sometimes feels as though it has more in common with Krampus than dear old Father Christmas. It’s a challenge when all most of our clients would like Christmas decorations installed over the same two week period, ideally towards the end of November. It’s a challenge that we relish and enjoy but it is it is extraordinarily hard work. We spoke to McQueens operations manager Michi Kanatschnig about facing the challenges of Operation: Christmas at McQueens.
‘We get geared up for Christmas as early as possible and preparation is key,’ says Michi, wiping a glitter-coated palm across her furrowed brow. ‘Our workload increases throughout the run-up to Christmas and organising the smooth running is a massive undertaking. Our most senior florists Zibi and Yeon Hee organise the practical aspects to prepare all of the components that we need. Each venue will request a range of items that will all need to be sourced well in advance. Zibi and Yeon Hee manage the teams of florists to make sure all of the items needed are ready in the correct order that we will install. It’s a very odd feeling to be making Christmas items in October, but we are working to a deadline and all of our Christmas installations are assembled by hand.’
‘The logistical side is a feat on its own, making sure that florists are scheduled at the correct venue and at the right time. We have such a great team here at McQueens and we are always impressed with the hard work and commitment from everyone at this time of year – it’s amazing to see such beautiful work created in some of London’s iconic and best-loved venues.’